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A Little Light Theatremonkey

December 14, 2009

At this rather dark time of the year, it’s nice to see the odd shaft of light – and not just those flickering wildly over the entire frontage of one house near me.

First, it was a bit of an ego boost to be one of Dress Circle’s best selling items, mentioned not only twice on their front page, but also in their email bulletin to their many customers worldwide.

Second, a large West End marketing company put a massive four page insert into the Evening Standard newspaper last Thursday. It publicised a dozen of the biggest musical hits around, but it was the fourth page that interested me. That page was given over to a large chart, carefully recording all the extra performances and changes to times over the two festive season weeks.

This idea of a “chart of performance changes” is something I too decided to experiment with on early last month. A ticket agency had tried the same thing many years ago, but dropped it, and I thought I’d give it a go myself this year to go with the regular “performance chart / matinee finder” launched back in June. I must say it was incredibly reassuring to find that a major marketing company think such an idea is worthwhile themselves, quite a relief to not be alone.

And the third bright light of the time of year? That is beside my computer screen every morning. A few weeks ago, putting aside a considerable – and I mean CONSIDERABLE – amount of scepticism, I invested in a very cheap SAD lamp. For those who don’t know, that’s a lamp designed to mimic the light of a bright sunny day on even the darkest winter one. According to the instructions; if you don’t get a whanging head-ache from it, then 20 minutes exposure each morning for a week should improve your mood and energy to sunny summer morning levels… and then you just occasionally “top up as required.”

… you won’t believe this… but I think it works… It could be auto-suggestion of course, but when I lent it to someone after my own week, I felt my energy drop back over the next four weeks. Three days of light when it was returned, and I was ‘up’ again. Go figure…

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